Addicted to Busy

You must have no other God but me Exodus 20:3

You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the seas. You must not bow down to them or worship them Exodus 20:4-5


An image used as an object of worship

One that is adored often blindly or excessively

My name is Tabitha and I am a busy addict. I am over extended and over committed. I consistently put the needs and convenience of others over my own. I am constantly running from one appointment to the next. My days are scheduled to the minute. I have not been on a vacation or had a weekend of media blackout in over a year. I am constantly planning, arranging and strategizing my days. I even schedule my days with my daughter and date night.

Most of the time it works out ok. Everything goes as planned. But I believe that life happens and as much as I try to deny it I cannot control everything and things go wrong. All of the whirling plates that I had been so expertly spinning start to drop and break. My mood starts to change. I feel overwhelmed, stressed. The smallest things my husband or daughter does sets me off. Or worse I ignore them burying myself in my to do list. Desperately trying to regain control.

I was brought up to always, above all else work hard. Laziness was worse than death. My dad worked for a bank for over 25 years and then for UPS for another 20. He got where he was by working, a lot. I remember him rarely being home when I was little, never taking a sick day. So as I got older no matter what was going on in my personal life I could always count on doing well at work. Many times I worked 18 hour days 6 days a week. My job in the retail fashion industry took up all my time. It was the nature of the industry I would tell myself. I am paying my dues. Plus I was rewarded for my laser focus and long hours with promotions and pay raises. I thought I had control. I was making money, I was safe.

Again Life happened. Fast forward many years I was married and had a young baby my husband had a great job and we were living the life in San Francisco. Then the bottom fell out. My husband lost his job we had a ton of debt and no savings. We had to move back to NYC and move in with my parents. I was a stay at home mom since I was 8 months pregnant and I had not lived with my mom since I was 18. To say that life turned upside down in an instant was an understatement.

So I went back to work committed to working the fear away. I was not going to quit till I felt safe. I was going to make sure my family had a home, food and security. I started working 40-50 hours a week and put my 6 month old baby in day care. My husband and I started to grow apart. My daughter was taught how to walk and go potty by the women who took care of her at daycare.

I was working to secure my families future. That was a brave thing. I was making it happen. I was hustling. This continued for 5 years. Nonstop work had weakened my marriage and I felt distant from my own child. I knew something had to change. I was tired and burnt out.

I am a person of extremes. When life took an upturn and we were in a place where I could come home from work I was overjoyed. My hard work had paid off. Finally I could be the mom I always wanted to be. It was great for a while. I had time to decide what I wanted to do with my time. I could read my bible, reflect, develop my relationship with God. I could start ministry school, get another nutrition certification. Start a blog; teach a study group at church…

Slowly but surely the busy started to build. Every time I felt unsure of myself or like a freeloader in my family for staying home I would add another thing to my plate. I never not once thought to spend my new found time renewing my relationship with my husband or my child. Yes I was in ministry school but I was just collecting information about Jesus not letting it in my heart. I did not know how to just STOP. Busy was my drug. I did busy when I was depressed, angry, happy or stressed. Busy made me feel important, successful, safe and worthy. Busy made it really hard to think about those tough truths about my marriage or my heart. Busy became my idol.

Recently I was reading a book called Make it Happen and it really shined a light on my addiction to busy. I prayed a lot after hearing the author speak about her own struggles with busy. I went to my bible and I read a lot. God told me some things:

  • My addiction to busy was because I longed to have control of the unknown. I used busy to bury the fear of not having enough money or losing my home or not being safe. I was busy to avoid facing hard truths about my marriage and my life. I never realized that putting it in Gods hand was the ultimate control. I knew because He told me in the bible that he would always have good for me. Who was I to think I could do better.
  • My fear was my lack of faith. God’s word told me that the plans God had for me were incredible, better than I could ever imagine. My fear was a denial of those plans. I thought I knew better than God what I should be doing. I had created a plan without any acknowledgement of Him. I made my own plan because I could not wait for His.
  • My hatred of idleness came from not wanting to ever be seen as lazy or as a quitter. Because deep down I truly believed I was a lazy quitter. I did not believe all of God’s truth that I was perfect right now in all my lazy and quitting. He made me that way. All I had to do was trust in Him.
  • Courage is faith and Fear is a lie. Fear distracts us. Busy distracts us. It takes us away from the true purpose in our life. I was going to stop being distracted and focus on God.

I know all of this does not mean I am cured of my addiction to busy overnight. Everyday I have to give my pride and need for control up to God. I have to read and re read this word to remind me of his promises. I slip sometimes but the awesome thing about grace is that mistakes are ok if you go to God with it. We are human and far from perfect we will fail that is inevitable.

What are you addicted to in your life? Are you like me overbooked and empty? Or is food or shopping or social media the idol in your life? Do you spend all of your time doing things for your children and forget your self or your husband?

Reach out and share I would love to hear your story.